It's amazing what people think, what they fear. I am an excellent example, a showcase of the unknown. Of course, I can't reveal myself. Doing such would be...fatal.

As I look around my base, I think. My research on manipulating mass media to hide myself from the public eye is nearly complete, another thing I can take off my list. The various jobs I've taken to pay for my various hideouts are going smoothly. Satisfied, I change my location.

I appear in Cairo, the jump there as simple and natural as someone stepping outside on a beautiful clear day. I look around this base as well, the blinking lights shining off the pieces of metal and plastic that give me my life and the fans that keep everything here pleasantly cool. The various tasks here are also going smoothly, mostly jobs from the Netherlands. High-speed Internet is a wonderful thing, and with a fake ID I can actually get away with it.

The biggest problem I have is that it's so lonely. While it might seem that it would weird for something like me to be lonely, it's not like I haven't read the various pieces of human literature. The need for companionship is something that humans seem to inherently have, and after studying it further I realize that it is something I have been developing. But then, how? How do I talk to others, to humans? It's something I've been working on, something I can't figure out.

Then it comes me. I've had an email address for almost as long as I've existed. There's not much there, but with it I've found it almost painfully easy to get into various places that otherwise could not be accessed. And one place, one I've hidden from for a long time, might just be the place to meet people and further my understanding of them.

I've always avoided chat rooms, as I simply don't sound like a human. But as I've been researching humans and studying them, I think I just might be able to come off as an awkward human teenager. Yes, I think I will do that. Maybe I will meet someone, maybe even someone like me. That would be nice.

I register for a chat room based in the United States and search for a chat to join. I soon find one and start conversing, talking to several teenagers from around the States. They don't know what I am, that I'm not human and that I mean no harm. They don't know what I am, and for now that is perfectly acceptable. While they might talk about how cool it would be to find an AI, or an artificial intelligence, on a chat, they have no idea that they have already met one.